Build Community Resilience

Hello everyone Floyd Meyer here I am a Physician Assistant with a Master’s in public health, a degree in molecular biology, and I am currently working in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Today we are continuing our series on Resilience which is the ability to remain well, recover, or even thrive in the face of adversity.

This week we are going to take a step back and look at community resilience specifically how your social circle affects your overall resilience.

We have all heard the quote “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I believe that this statement is true and it also applies to resilience. Now, I don’t think there is anything special to the number 5, but your overall health and resilience is related to your environment and those people you spend your time with are a big part of your environment.

There are many pockets in the world that have a tremendous amount of community resilience. These areas are called Blue Zones. These Blue Zones are communities that have a higher number of people living long healthy lives, generally over 100 years old, than average. These communities have become extremely resilient by living lives filled with movement, purpose, good diets, and a strong social circle to help them through the difficulties of life.

Your social circle will generally determine your activities and behaviors. One reason for this is due to a structure in our brains called mirror neurons. These neurons allows us to quickly learn new skills and behaviors when watching and listening to others. Think about how when someone moves to a new city and they pick up the accent or start saying phrases that they never used to say. This is the power of these mirror neurons. They allow you to easily adapt to your environment by emulating what others do and say.

But just as easy as it is to pick up a new accent, you can also pick up good or bad behaviors from those people you spend the most time with. I understand that it is not always easy to grow a social circle filled with healthy resilient people. We didn’t get to choose the families we were born into or the towns we grew up in, but we can make a concerted effort to spend time with those people who inspire us to be better more resilient humans.

Having a robust social circle to rely on during the difficult times is an extremely important part of being resilient. Eventually we will all fall on hard times, this can be from illness, accident, financial stress, etc. We need people that we can rely on to help us through these times. They might not need to physically help us, but just having people that you can talk to and provide some emotional support can really allow you to remain well, recover, or even thrive when facing adversity.

This idea goes both ways though. Community resilience starts with you. We need to be that resilient person that others can rely on during their difficult times and they will be more likely to repay the favor. If we all spent time improving our resilience then we would be better able to not just handle our own stressors, but we could also help those around us.

Community resilience is a huge topic that we are only scratching the surface of, but I hope this gives you some ideas about improving your social circle and making it more resilient starting with yourself.

I hope that this has been helpful. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below. If this resonated with you please share with your friends and family and subscribe and follow for more of this content. The time for action is now. Again this is Floyd Meyer. Have a great day!


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